“Without doubt Jack is the most popular man in New Cross”

A lot happened during Jack Wannop’s 14-month absence from England. It was the year of the Ripper, of course. The Football League was established. The match girls went on strike, atheists became legally allowed to sit as MPs, and thousands of sheep mysteriously rampaged across Oxfordshire.   Closer to home, theatre, dance, art and pugilism continued… Read More “Without doubt Jack is the most popular man in New Cross”

“Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”

Last week I read Andrew Horrall’s excellent Popular Culture in London c. 1890-1910 (Manchester University Press, 2001), and in Chapter 10, Boxing, he explores the introduction of sport to the music hall stage. In the two decades prior to WWI, boxing was transformed from “brutal, semi-legal origins to middle-class respectability” writes Horrall and during the… Read More “Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”